The intensity of drama in Director Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, is framed by the sparse, yet effective score by Oscar contenders Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders. “It has almost a documentary feel to it,” Beltrami offered. “The fear was that putting too much music in it, would take you out of the picture. After we started working on it, and trying some ideas, we started to make it work hand in hand with the sound as opposed to being something other than the sound. It’s unconventional in that the average person wouldn’t even know that there was much score at all, but that was the challenge, to make it work with the picture in general.”
Beltrami stated, “We hadn’t met Kathryn, but she was a fan of another movie, 3:10 to Yuma, that we had done a few years back. She liked the spirit of that score.” Apparently, Bigelow wanted a loner cowboy, Wild-West type of theme for some of the final scenes.
According to Sanders, “She was very open, as a director, to ideas. The easiest things to talk to her about was the melodic and thematic stuff later in the movie.” He added that there wasn’t much in the temp library to show the direction that she wanted to go with the score.
“She wanted very atmospheric and ambient music that also worked with the sound design that she already had,” said Sanders.
Beltrami explained, “Buck and I work together on most scenes, rather than divide it up. The way we work is complimentary. We are attacking the same problem from different angles. Buck from more of a sound manipulation point of view, and me more from a traditional composer standpoint.”
“It pretty much, was me and Marco on this one. I played guitar. Marco did piano,” said Sanders. “We also had a Greek fellow who played a variety of Middle Eastern instruments and sang for us.”
Previous Noms and Wins For Marco Beltrami: 2009: Nominated, Cesar Best Music Written for a Film, L’ennemi public n*1. 2008: Nominated, Academy Awards, Original Score 3:10 to Yuma; Nominated, Critic’s Choice Award, Best Composer 3:10 To Yuma; Nominated, World Soundtrack Award, Best Original Score of the Year, 3:10 to Yuma. 2005: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top Box Office Films, I Robot. 2004: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top Box Office Films, Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines. 2003: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top Box Office Films, Blade II; Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top TV Series Films, The Practice. 2002: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top TV Series Films, The Practice. 2001: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top TV Series Films, The Practice. 1998: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top Box Office Films, Scream 2. 1998: Won, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Top Box Office Films, Scream. 1999: Nominated, Emmy, Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries or a Movie, David and Lisa.